Home Electrical Circuits
- Check your house electrical meter. If it is on your home, there may be a main disconnect switch (breaker) next to it. If the meter is on an underground service, it may be in front of your home, but there should be a main breaker where the line enters the home. Shut it off!
- Familiarize yourself with the location of the electrical breaker panel.
- If in doubt, turn off main breaker.
- Turn off breakers for areas of concern.
- In cases of basement flooding:
- Think before stepping in any water.
- A shock hazard may exist even in an inch of water if an extension cord connection is on the floor.
- If the electrical panel is upstairs, shut off all circuits.
- If the electrical panel is in the basement, determine whether it can be reached on dry ground. If not, refer to the next step.
Before a Power Outage
- Have food and water supplies on hand.
- Know the locations of all camping equipment: stove, lantern, sleeping bags. Make sure the equipment is operational and that you know how to use it. Use camping equipment requiring gasoline, propane, white fuel, Coleman fuel, or charcoal briquettes only outside.
- Learn the location of the fuse box or circuit breaker.
- Store candles, matches, flashlights, and extra batteries near your bed.
- Keep refigerator well defrosted.
During a Power Outage
- Do not allow children to carry lanterns, candles, or fuel.
- Open refrigerator door only to take food out and close as quickly as possible.
- Report any downed lines.
- Turn off all but one light switch.
- Unplug all your appliances. A power surge could ruin appliances when power is restored.
- Use camping equipment outside, six feet away from everything. Use only a fireplace, properly installed wood stove, or a new-style kerosene heater in a safe area with fresh outside air coming into the area.
After a Power Outage
- Be patient. Energy may first be restored to police and fire departments and hospitals.
- Examine you frozen food. If it still contains ice crystals, it may be frozen. If meat is off-color or has an odd odor, throw it away.
- When power is restored, plug in appliances one by one, waiting a few minutes between each one. This will prevent overloading the system.